Let’s be honest, it’s been a weird year to work at an electronics marketing agency and a weird year in general for the whole electronics sector. There have been so Blank Elektra Awardmany challenges and a whole lot of uncertainty. Yet, in times of trouble, successes still abound and companies in this industry are certainly not shy in stepping up to the plate with new innovations. The ingenuity and perseverance of electronics companies during the pandemic has been awe-inspiring – as has their willingness to help in the fight against COVID-19. We really are indebted to those companies that offered their services in support of their country’s healthcare system or government as the global lockdown began. A survey of UK electronics professionals, conducted in May 2020, revealed that an incredible 58% of respondents were helping in the fight against COVID-19. 43% of those respondents were involved in equipment development, with the majority focusing on medical devices, and 19% were helping to provide the NHS with ventilators.

One, inevitable, consequence of the lockdown was the postponement of all live industry events. Exhibitions, seminars, and conferences all suffered a rash of postponements at best and cancellation at worst. Another casualty was the industry award ceremonies and, as with so many other events in 2020, the Elektra awards were delayed and then “re-imagined” as an online affair. I’ve attended a number of virtual events but this was my first virtual awards ceremony. So, on the 25th March, we took our virtual places at the table (or sofa in the living room in my case) and it felt very different from the glittering ballroom we’re used to; for starters, I had a cup of tea instead of a glass of champagne. However, a sense of excitement and anticipation was still palpable as impressionist Jon Culshaw (of Dead Ringers fame) made his introductions and skilfully hosted the evening in a variety of different guises.

Congratulations must go to all the winners and highly commended companies in the 17 categories – some of which were extremely hard fought with numerous worthy nominees vying for the title. Despite it being a virtual ceremony there was still a level of ‘fist pump’ excitement generated and I’d like to mention three Publitek client winners: Paragraf for winning the award for ‘Excellence in Product Design (High-reliability systems)’, Zytronic for their victory in the ‘Passive and Electromechanical Product of the Year’ category, and RS Components for scooping an amazing four awards including Best Campaign, Distributor of the Year, Enterprise of the Year and the Educational Support Award.

As a long-established agency in the sector and long-time supporter of the Elektra awards Publitek also sponsored the Manufacturer of the Year award which was won by Filtronic PLC.

Praise and thanks should also go to Electronics Weekly for going ahead with the event and providing the wonderful opportunity to step back and celebrate the ingenuity of our industry. The virtual chat around the table and video calls with familiar faces were both great ways to reconnect with friends and colleagues too.